World Lupus Day: Know its symptoms, prevention, and treatment

May 10, 2023, 05:45 am
2 min read

Popular singer Selena Gomez was diagnosed with lupus in 2014

Lupus is an inflammatory and autoimmune disease that affects different of the body including skin, kidneys, joints, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. It occurs when your body's immune system starts attacking the tissues and organs of the body.

Commemorating World Lupus Day today, let us delve deep into understanding lupus - from its causes and symptoms to treatment options and preventive measures.

Since lupus affects people of all backgrounds, races, genders, or ages, this day calls for attention to the health impact the disease has across the world.

The main idea behind the day is to highlight the need for improved healthcare resources to overcome lupus as well as for better research on the disease and its treatment.

You can wear purple to observe the day.

How does it affect the body

Lupus happens when the immune system goes after healthy tissues instead of fighting external threats.

This can lead to swelling across the body, skin rashes, joint pain, and inflammation in the lungs, heart, blood, and kidneys.

This condition typically goes through cycles of flare-ups and remissions. During times of remission, the person may have no symptoms and during a flare-up, the symptoms will reoccur.

Lupus has a wide range of symptoms. The common ones are fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, chest pain when breathing deeply, sensitivity to sunlight, mouth ulcers, memory problems, unusual hair loss, pale or purple fingers or toes (due to stress), arthritis, malar rash, and headaches.

However, these symptoms typically come and go and can even be mild and unnoticeable sometimes.

The diagnosis of lupus is often long and difficult, mainly because the symptoms can overlap with other conditions in the body and also because the symptoms act differently in different people.

Common treatments include Hydroxychloroquine to treat rashes and arthritis symptoms; Belimumab and Corticosteroids to suppress the immune system.

In addition to this, your doctor can give medications to improve kidney functioning.

Remedies include lifestyle changes

The exact cause of lupus is unknown. However, the possible factors include hormonal changes, environmental factors, and family medical history.

In addition to medications, doctors sometimes also recommend lifestyle modifications.

Some of the basic changes include consuming a balanced diet for disease management, cutting on alcohol consumption, avoiding smoking, moderate exercising, and stress management.

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